PBM Ventegra Includes Avastin Biosimilar on Formulary


Additionally, the FDA has approved Avzivi — the fifth biosimilar that references the cancer drug Avastin.

Ventegra, a PBM in Glendale, Calif., will place Celltrion USA’s Vegzelma (bevacizumab-adcd) on its commercial formulary as a preferred brand. Ventegra covers more than 13 million lives, with a primary focus on Texas, Washington and California.

Vegzelma is a biosimilar that references Genentech’s Avastin (bevacizumab). It was approved by the FDA in September 2022 to treat six types of cancer: metastatic colorectal cancer; recurrent or metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); recurrent glioblastoma; metastatic renal cell carcinoma; persistent, recurrent, or metastatic cervical cancer; and epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer.

The cost for Vegzelma intravenous solution is around $723 for a supply of 4 milliliters, according to Drugs.com— this compares with a price of $849 for 4 ml of Avastin, according to Drugs.com. A 4 ml vial contains 100 mg of Vegzelma. It is dosed depending on weight and type of cancer.

Vegzelma was the fourth Avastin biosimilar approved. The most recent biosimilar that references Avastin —Avzivi — was approved by the FDA on Dec. 7, 2023. Developed by the Chinese company Bio-Thera Solutions, Avzivi (bevacizumab-tnjn), is approved for several cancer indications, including colorectal cancer, on-squamous non-small cell lung cancer, renal cell carcinoma, cervical cancer and ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer.

Bio-Thera and Sandoz entered into a license agreement for Avzivi (formerly known as BAT1706) in September 2021 where Sandoz will be responsible for the commercialization of Avzivi. Availability and the price of Avzivi will be determine by Sandoz.

The approval of Avzivi was based on analytical, nonclinical and clinical data. Analytical characterization between BAT1706 and U.S. and EU Avastin was conducted to support biosimilarity. A phase 3 study compared BAT1706 with Avastin for efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity in patients with advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer.

Related: PBM Ventegra Adds Yuflyma Biosimilar as Preferred Product

In September 2023, Ventegra also included on its formulary another Celltrion biosimilar: Yuflyma (adalimumab-aaty) is a preferred product on Ventegr’s formulary. Yuflyma is biosimilar of AbbVie’s Humira that was approved in May 2023 and launched in July 2023. It is a high-concentration and citrate-free formulation.

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